View Full Version : how to hd install 4 versions of linux

02-26-2005, 05:05 AM
when all installers ask for hda2 only to install how to install differrent versions of live cd
examples dsl,knoppix3.7,pclinux
i have 2 hdds but the otherone is hdc1
my comp refuses to boot linux from hdc6 linux partition
says my bios dont allow booting from hdc6
even after physically changing cables in the comp it becomes hda6
installer wont install on hda6
its all a mess
any one can help?
also i cant seem to make more partitions in my 40 gb hdd
with fdisk it shows one big logical extended partition and drive letters c d e f
the 1st parttion has win2000 ntfs
in the other drive 1st partition has win98
now knoppix3.7 in hda2
thanks in advance
ramaswamyps :(

02-26-2005, 01:40 PM
Let's start with the 40 GB drive. All BIOSes are limited to between 1 and 4 primary partitions, or between 1 and 3 primary partitions and an extended partition which you then subdivide into as many logical partitions as you want. (Well, the limit is 64 I think, but you sure won't want that many on a 40 GB drive!) :)

So decide how many primary partitions you want on that drive. Maybe two, one for NTFS and one for FAT32 (which Linux calls vfat). The second partition is a safe way to pass files between NTFS and Linux partitions. (Linux can now write directly to NTFS, but it's kinda new, and I do it with this second DOS/Windows partition because I'm still shy about writing into NTFS from Linux.)

Then the space that isn't used by the one or two primary partitions can be combined into an extended partition and split up how you like. All Linux versions can be booted from any logical partition.

However, you'll need to install a not-from-Microsoft bootloader to manage all of this. The two overwhelming choices in the Linux world are LILO and GrUB. They both work fine. GrUB is newer and more powerful, but LILO is a little easier to understand, I think. I have one on one computer and the other on the other.

Knoppix contains the software to install either, but LILO is the default, and I don't remember whether knoppix-installer even gives you a choice. But once either one is installed, you can convert to the other.

But ... if you have Knoppix on one of your hard drives now, it installed a bootloader, right? Did you put it in the computer's MBR or in the partition's boot sector?

It needs to be in the MBR of the first hard drive, so if that's where you installed it - but then you swapped the drives - then LILO or GrUB is no longer where it needs to be.

When it's in the MBR of the first drive, it can boot pretty much any operating system from any partition of either drive. Your Windows systems don't even have to be in the first partitions of the drives - the bootloader can fool them into thinking that they are. But since they are there, keep them there. They'll be happier, and so will you. :D

A note on how the partitions are named, first in Windows: C, D, E, F are the primary partitions, unless you have other devices. WinXP calls my primary partitions C and E and gives D to the CD drive. Whatever! :roll: And it doesn't see the extended or logical partitions.

Linux calls primary partitions hda1 - hda4, hdb1 - hdb4, and so on. But! Logical partitions always start from 5. Always.

So if you have one primary partition and one extended partition, you'll see a gap: hda1, hda5, hda6.... Linux reserves 1 through 4 for the primary partitions, and there's nothing assigned to the extended-partition envelope, and then the logical partitions start in.

So now. Is LILO or GrUB in the first drive's MBR? If not, we'll need to get it there. If it is, something's hosed up.

Let us know!

-- Ed

03-02-2005, 08:47 AM
Hi again! :D

I'm sorry for the delay - I was away from the forum for a few days.

I think we should find out what layout the computer sees. As root (or using sudo), type:
# fdisk -l /dev/hda
# fdisk -l /dev/hdc The -l options just lists out the partition table and makes no changes. Here's what mine looks like:
Disk /dev/hda: 120.0 GB, 120034123776 bytes
255 heads, 63 sectors/track, 14593 cylinders
Units = cylinders of 16065 * 512 = 8225280 bytes

Device Boot Start End Blocks Id System
/dev/hda1 * 1 9029 72525411 7 HPFS/NTFS
/dev/hda2 9030 10303 10233405 c W95 FAT32 (LBA)
/dev/hda3 10304 11120 6562552+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda4 11121 14593 27896872+ f W95 Ext'd (LBA)
/dev/hda5 11121 11248 1028128+ 82 Linux swap
/dev/hda6 11249 12523 10241406 83 Linux
/dev/hda7 12524 12961 3518203+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda8 12962 13369 3277228+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda9 13370 13777 3277228+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda10 13778 14185 3277228+ 83 Linux
/dev/hda11 14186 14593 3277228+ 83 Linux
I have three primary partitions: hda1 has WinXP, hda2 doesn't have an operating system, it's just formatted as FAT32 (what Windows calls it) or vfat (what Linux calls it). And hda3 is formatted as Linux ext3.

Then extended partition hda4 is the fourth and final main partition - there can be only four when you add up primary and extended. It contains logical partitions hda5 through hda11.

If you look at the Start and End numbers (of cylinders) you can see that hda1 through hda4 all line up end-to-end. And then so do hda5 through hda11. The start of hda5 is the same as the start of hda4, and the end of hda11 is the same as the end of had4.

The ID number is different for different types of formatting (except that HPFS and NTFS use the same number, stupidly). If hda2 were still vfat with LBA, but hidden, it would have an ID of 1c. You see that 82 means a Linux swap partition, and 83 means most other kinds of Linux partitions.

Let us know what you find!

-- Ed

03-04-2005, 09:52 PM

I'm newbe in knoppix..

I just want to ask some about knoppix..

1. can I install knoppix to my HDD from my knoppix live cd ( v3.6 ) ? if it can , how to do it ?

2. If not, what kind of knoppix version that I can install to my HDD ?

bcouse, till now I only know that knoppix is live cd 'n not like RH or else which has to install it to hdd before using it.. but when I read this forum, I notice that there are many user running knoppix from HDD..


03-05-2005, 01:42 AM
Hi, and welcome!

can I install knoppix to my HDD from my knoppix live cd
Aboslutely, yes. Knoppix is intended to be run from CD - Klaus Knopper didn't want to carry a laptop around with him, so he built a custom Debian that he could carry around and run on any computer he found nearby.

So, it runs a little better that way than as an installed Linux. But Knoppix is so useful that he and others made a way to do this. (And there are one or two other ways that don't use this Knoppix tool, too.)

While running from the cd, open a terminal window and type
$ sudo knoppix-installerand you're on your way!

A couple of alternatives: the current version of Knoppix is 3.7 - you might want to download and install from that. I think it's good to start with the newest version - that is, the newest working version - of most software, but that applies espeicaially to Knoppix because the customized tweaks it includes make it hard to cleanly update the individual components.

Or, you may want to start with a distribution of Linux that's easier to keep up-to-date. (And there are a few other reasons why Knoppix may not be the exactly-right first Linux to install.)

So another possibility is Debian itself. Hardware detection and auto-configuration is nearly as good as with Knoppix for most people, I believe, and it should be quite a bit easier to update and add software to. Debian has a good way to download a small CD and then build a system using a network connection - but for this you'll want a good network connection or else lots of patience for dial-up download speeds.

Debian can also be installed from a set of CDs the same way as Red Hat Fedora and others.

I hope this helps - if not, write back. In fact, write back either way! :D

-- Ed